At Ackerman Urology, we understand the importance of regular prostate health check-ups. One common screening tool we use is the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and is present in small amounts in the blood of all men. The PSA test measures the level of this protein, and it is an essential tool for early detection of prostate cancer and other prostate conditions.
An elevated PSA level can be a cause for concern, but it’s essential to recognize that it doesn’t necessarily indicate cancer. Several factors can lead to increased PSA levels, including:
- Prostate Cancer: Elevated PSA levels can be a sign of prostate cancer, especially when the increase is significant and sustained over time
- Benign Prostate Conditions: Conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), or urinary tract infections can also cause PSA levels to rise
- Age: PSA levels naturally tend to increase with age, so older men may have higher baseline levels
- Medications and Procedures: Certain medications, such as alpha-blockers or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, and recent prostate procedures, can temporarily affect PSA levels
What to Do if You Have Elevated PSA Levels: If your PSA levels are higher than the normal range, it’s crucial not to jump to conclusions. Your urologist will take a comprehensive approach to assess your prostate health:
- Repeat Testing: A single elevated PSA result may not necessarily indicate a problem. Your urologist may recommend a repeat PSA test to confirm the result
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Alongside PSA testing, a DRE may be performed to assess the size, texture, and overall health of the prostate gland
- Imaging Studies: Depending on your age, family history, and other risk factors, your urologist may recommend additional imaging tests like a prostate ultrasound or MRI
- Biopsy: If the PSA levels remain high or other concerning factors are present, your urologist may recommend a prostate biopsy to determine if cancer is present
Elevated PSA levels can be a sign of various prostate conditions, including cancer. However, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Regular check-ups and open communication with your urologist are essential. Your urologist will work with you to determine the best course of action, which may include additional tests or further evaluation.
At Ackerman Urology, your prostate health is our priority. If you have questions or concerns about your PSA levels, don’t hesitate to reach out. Early detection and proper management are key to maintaining your prostate health, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.